Veterans Memorial Coliseum – Jacksonville, FL – Sunday, June 3, 2007
Hall of Famer Jim Ross, & Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler (RAW). Michael Cole & JBL (SmackDown), and Joey Styles & Tazz (ECW) are on commentary.
~BONUS MATCH: Monday Night RAW, 5.28.07~
Randy Orton defeats Rob Van Dam by referee decision at 16:22. They chain wrestle for a bit longer than I would have expected. RVD seems to have Orton’s number, controlling most of the first part of the match. Unfortunately for RVD, when he goes up to the top rope, Orton dropkicks him all the way down into the guardrail! Good time for a commercial break, and when we come back Orton is in control. Orton keeps RVD grounded for a while with a variety (well, sort of), of offense, mostly rest holds. RVD fights back and flies around a bit, clearly he’s got his working boots on tonight. He plays up being a little “woozy” on the top rope, but I don’t recall if they were doing some kind of concussion angle with him at this time or whatever. Orton connects on the Rope-hung DDT and while RVD kicks out, he looks like he lights are on but nobody’s home. The referee even appears concerned. RVD gets to his feet and Orton blasts him with another hard shot to the head. Orton then connects on the Punt and the referee stops the match. JR and King talk about how this is exactly what Orton did to Shawn Michaels, so now I remember the connection. At any rate, this was a terrific TV match that I didn’t remember at all, wisely structured and with a rarely used finish. Orton really zeroing in on the head made him look like a huge dick, though targeting the head would soon become a thing of the past.
Rob Van Dam defeats Randy Orton at 14:45 in a Stretcher Match. Orton had been punting people in the head around this time, including tonight’s opponent last week on RAW. RVD strikes early, and he sells the effect of last week’s punt, stumbling around a little more than usual and even slipping off the top rope. Orton does lots of cool things in this match, like the elevated neckbreaker, and countering the Rolling Thunder with a powerslam. RVD tries a somersault planch on Orton laid out on the stretcher but Orton moves and RVD crashes hard on the floor. Orton tries to put RVD on the stretcher and push him over the line, but RVD stops him with an elbow and a kick to the head. That’s enough for RVD to put Orton on the stretcher and push him over the line. That was odd – they played up the head injury gimmick for RVD, and the stipulation was supposed to render one of the competitors incapacitated. But the finish was just kind of out of nowhere. And then after the match Orton attacks RVD and punts him in the head. Orton then hits an elevated DDT on the floor. This was fun until the abrupt finish.
CM Punk, The Sandman & Tommy Dreamer defeat The New Breed (Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von & Matt Striker) in a Tables Match at 7:35. Only one team member has to go through a table for the match to end. This is all brawling. I guess they are supposed to make tags, but there are no rules, so. Sandman of course uses his trusty kendo stick to take Cor Von out. Dreamer drills Burke with a Piledriver and sets him on a table. Punk brings Striker off the top rope with a superplex right onto Burke to break the table and get the win. Not a whole lot to see here, but it was short and fun enough.
World Tag Team Champions The Hardys (Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy) defeat The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) in a Ladder Match to retain the titles at 17:25. Matt and Jeff have been the Champions since 4.2.07, and this is their third defense. Everyone is amped up here, and it doesn’t take long for ladders to enter the fray. Lots of crazy risks are taken by both teams, with some really cool spots resulting. After a hellacious match, the Hardys are able to climb up the ladder and pull down the belts. Both teams were great here, showing no fear. Some spots hit, some of them didn’t, but the effort was all there.
Mark Henry defeats Kane in a Lumberjack Match at 9:10. The lumberjacks are Chris Benoit, Val Venis, Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella, Balls Mahoney, Stevie Richards, The Miz, Kevin Thorn, Chris Masters, Johnny Nitro, Chavo Guerrero, Kenny Dykstra, and Carlito. Yes, the best use of the Intercontinental Champion on this show was as a lumberjack for Kane v Mark Henry. Cole immediately refers to Henry as the “silverback” and “king of the jungle.” #Racism. Lots of punching, kicking, and rest holds here. Dykstra and Guerrero attack Kane for reasons. Henry uses a bear hug for what seems like forever, but it works, as Kane passes out and the referee declares Henry the winner. This was boring and felt twice as long as it was.
Bobby Lashley defeats ECW World Heavyweight Champion Mr. McMahon (w/ Shane McMahon & Umaga) in a Street Fight at 12:27 to win the title. McMahon has been the Champion since 4.29.07, and this is his second defense. Officially, this is a one-on-one match, but since it’s a street fight, McMahon gets plenty of help from his son Shane and the “Samoan Bulldozer” Umaga. This goes on for a while before Lashley fires up and gets rid of Umaga and Shane. Lashley then brains McMahon with a steel chair, then adds a handful of shots to the back for good measure. The numbers game takes over again and Lashley gets beat up a while longer. Blah blah blah, stuff happens, Lashley hits McMahon with a Spear and regains the title. That should’ve been five minutes, tops.
Candice Michelle defeats Women’s Champion Melina at 3:00 in a non-title Extreme Pudding Match. This is total nonsense, and Melina eventually taps out. I’m so glad my daughter wasn’t around to see women’s wrestling done this way.
World Heavyweight Champion Edge defeats Batista at 15:30 in a Steel Cage Match to retain the title. Edge has been the Champion since 5.11.07, and this is his second defense. Batista dominates right from the beginning. Edge is crafty and gets in his share of offense, but Batista responds with his nearly unmatched power game. The champion makes every effort to escape, preferring to climb out. Batista is on the mat and when he sees Edge going over he goes for the door. Edge gets to the floor just a little bit faster and escapes with his title. This was solid action, but the cage felt tacked on because of the pay-per-view. They would go on to do better.
WWE Heavyweight Champion John Cena defeats The Great Khali (w/ Ranjin Singh) in a Falls Count Anywhere Match at 10:34 to retain the title. Cena has been the Champion since 9.17.06, and this is his ninth defense. This match can only be win via pinfall, and Khali has yet to be pinned at this point. It’s all Khali in the opening minutes, throwing Cena around thanks to his superior size and power. Cena tries to fight back but Khali knocks him to the floor and takes the fight outside. They battle through the crowd and Khali stays in control. Cena comes back and tries the Attitude Adjustment but it gets blocked. They climb up onto a crane. And Cena sees he has an opening. He delivers the Attitude Adjustment to get the pin. Cena was ON FIRE in 2007. Doing what nobody thought could be done – pinning Khali, and slamming him from up high, make this pretty memorable.
The main events are good not great (though Cena getting three stars out of Khali is a miracle), and that sums up this show as a whole. Five matches rank three stars or higher, so there’s definitely something worth checking out here. The bad matches are really bad though, so swim at your own risk.